It’s funny it’s taken me this long to figure it out. Obviously my WiP, with its supernatural elements (i.e. my MC Miyuki being the mystical Snow Woman) puts it in the fantasy genre. Since I’m setting it in 18th century Japan, that classifies it further as historical fantasy.
But I realized something: since this is historical fantasy, I don’t have to be as stringent in the historical accuracy.
I went searching to see some definitions of historical fantasy. Mine seem to follow one of these two (courtesy of Wikipedia article):
- magic, mythical creatures or other supernatural elements co-exist invisibly with the mundane world, with the majority of people none the wiser.
- The story takes place in a secondary world with specific and recognizable parallels to a known place (or places) and a definite historical period, rather than taking the geographic and historical “mix and match” favored by other works of secondary world fantasy. However, many if not most, works by fantasy authors derive ideas and inspiration from real events, making the borders of this approach history.
I’m not really sure where exactly Lady of the Snow falls; I’m thinking it’s going to be more along the lines of historcial fiction with fantasy elements and the whole “mythical creatures” co-existing with the mundane. But, I feel like I’m a little more free to not be as strict with all the rules of society of the time. I’m toying with the idea doing what Lian Hearn did for Tales of the Otori: an obviously Japanese type world, yet not this world as it follows a completely different timeline.
Perhaps I won’t define it at all and let the reader figure out where it’s set. 😛 I already know my village is going to be fictional, but it’ll be based off the region where the villages of Shirakawa-go are located. (I still have to come up with a nifty sounding name for the village too).
Anyway, for some reason, a lot of this puts a huge burden off my shoulders. I don’t feel like I’ll need to do months and months of research. But I still have to write it and do all the editing for it and we’ll see where it all goes. 🙂